Imkaan Report into BME Specialist Services in the UK

MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Question By: 
Joanne McCartney
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


BME Womens advocacy group Imkaan recently released a report into the provision of specialist services for women in the UK who experience sexual and domestic violence. A piece of evidence in this document stated: "We haven't come across any commissioners that understand issues affecting BME women."

Can you provide me with a response which outlines what work you have done and/or will do with regard to the recommendations put forward by Imkaan below?

       "Identify and develop collaborative working relationships with sexual violence and BME VAWG specialist organisations.

       Work with local partners and experts on sexual violence/equalities issues to conduct a local needs assessment/audit of local service provision to identify policy and service gaps as part of producing a joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA).

       Use  the  information  to  inform local  strategies  to  ensure  that  services  are  reflective and responsive to local need. This should and could include developing the capacity and  sustainability  of  specialist  sexual  violence  and  BME  VAWG  organisations  to develop appropriate service responses."


Answer for Imkaan Report into BME Specialist Services in the UK

Answer for Imkaan Report into BME Specialist Services in the UK

Answered By: 
The Mayor

MOPAC commission a range of sexual violence and domestic violence services that are delivered in London boroughs and an understanding of BME women's issues is fundamental to the success of these services. As an example, as part of the Pan London Domestic Violence service funded by the Mayor, Imkaan will train all caseworkers and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates employed by the service in order to ensure that issues affecting BME women are met with an appropriate specialist response.

The approach is guided by the Mayor's refreshed Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which was developed though consultation with a wide spectrum of statutory and Voluntary and Community Sector agencies, including BME agencies and backed up by a separate consultation with survivors of VAWG.  This was carried out by Imkaan and ensured that BME women's voices were central to the development of the refreshed strategy. The strategy promotes an understanding of BME VAWG issues and goes on to identify specific forms of violence against women and girls that disproportionality affects BME women. These include FGM, Forced Marriage; 'Honour' based Violence and Faith Based abuse. A two year pilot to address this is currently underway in five boroughs in London conducted by a consortium of BME VAWG specialist organisations.